Lesingey Round, Penzance

Has been described as a Possible Timber Castle (Ringwork)

There are earthwork remains

NameLesingey Round, Penzance
Alternative NamesCastle Horneck
Historic CountryCornwall
Modern AuthorityCornwall
1974 AuthorityCornwall
Civil ParishPenzance

Castle Horneck, (commonly called Lezingy Round) on the hill top... about a mile west of Penzance, is a circular inclosure of nearly an acre and a half..formed by a broad and high annular mound of earth, still in good preservation' (Edmunds). Lesingey Round is a 'small univallate earthwork of a type common in Cornwall. Rampart 12ft. - 15ft. high from bottom of ditch, c. 6ft. high in interior. Ditch remains without encroachment. Almost undisturbed. It is situated on the summit of a hill with a good all round view but the natural slopes are not very steep. The entrance could not be identified; the inner slope of the rampart is absent in places but the outer slope is continuous. A field wall has been erected round the outer perimeter of the ditch, and the whole of the area enclosed is wooded. There are no traces of occupation on the near level interior of the earthwork. No conclusions could be made regarding the date of this feature. Its situation and the strength of the bank indicates a defensive purpose. It seems possible that a mediaeval occupation of an earlier fortification may have taken place,and that it may have been the Castle Horneck referred to by Norden. In 1696 the field name was 'Castle Close' (see 6"). The present house called 'Castle Horneck' is 400.0m to the ESE (see Corn. 74 NW 55) (Field Investigators Comments–F1 JHP 29-SEP-60). Norden refers to Castle Horneck as an ancient ruined castle standing on a mount near Penzance. (Norden's survey of Cornwall took place c.1584.) (Lake). (PastScape)

From the situation, which is much like Restormel, traces of a medieval castle might be expected here, but none are known. (VCH)

Gatehouse Comments

This site is about 400m west of Castle Horneck and it is possible that this is the site of the C12 castle reported and that the place name has been utilised by a later building on a nearby but different site. Clearly there is some uncertain history of a medieval castle and this earthwork is of a form that has led to several interpretations. It would benefit from further archaeological investigation but its current overgrown state make this unlikely.

- Philip Davis

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law

Not Listed

Historic England (PastScape) Defra or Monument number(s)
County Historic Environment Record
OS Map Grid ReferenceSW453303
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  • Hogg, A.H.A., 1979, British hillforts: an index (British Archaeological Reports British Series 62) p. 214
  • Cornish, J.B., 1906, 'Ancient Earthworks' in Page, Wm (ed), VCH Cornwall Vol. 1 p. 461 online copy
  • Lake, W., 1870, History of Cornwall Vol. 3 p. 221-2
  • Edmonds, R., 1862, The Land's End District p. 39
  • Hitchins, Fortescue, 1824, A History of Cornwall (Samuel Drew) Vol. 2 p. 437 online copy
  • Polwhele, R., 1803, History of Cornwall (London) p. 112 (mention) online copy


  • Edmonds, R., 1849, 'On the Hill-Castle, Cliff-Castles, and other supposed British Dwelling-places, near Penzance' Transactions of Penzance Natural History and Antiquarian Society Vol. 1 p. 343 online copy


  • Nick Cahill with Stef Russell, September 2003, Cornwall & Scilly Urban Survey: Penzance (Cornwall County Council) Download copy